It is 6:45 p.m., and as I write this testimonial, my 7.5 month old is asleep. In his crib. Having fallen asleep on his own in 5 minutes.
I can’t begin to tell you how much has changed in a few short weeks!
Baby Theo is our pride and joy – but we knew he was going to give us trouble with sleep from the very first night! At 7 months old he was still sleeping in the middle of our bed (much to my husband’s frustration), and waking 4 or more times per night to feed (much to my frustration). We struggled to get him to sleep every night with endless amounts of tears, rocking, shush-ing, walking, nursing, etc. Once asleep, if I dared try to slip away for a few minutes of free time, he instantly awoke, starting the entire process over again. My husband and I convinced ourselves that he must have the best survival instincts of any baby to ever exist – he knew the moment he was away from our arms.
We knew something had to change. Even with our subpar sleep arrangements, Theo simply wasn’t getting enough sleep. We made numerous attempts to get him sleeping longer, better, falling asleep faster/easier, sleeping alone, etc, including sleep training on our own. I think I read every book, blog, online forum, post about baby sleep that I could find (hey, I had a lot of free time while the baby slept in my arms!). However, we really just weren’t making any progress. The lack of sleep and stress impacted all of our wellbeing.
When I received an unsolicited and fortuitous referral to Pam Nease Sleep, we jumped on it. We were quickly matched up with Sleep Angel Ashlyn, and started implementing her plan the next weekend. Having done so much research myself, the advice we received was not completely unexpected or mind blowing – but it helped us sift through the endless amounts of conflicting information that exists. It also implemented important tweaks that we were not expecting that made all the difference to our approach. I’m not going to lie – it was tough for the first few days. We were expecting it to be (I think we told Ashlyn that we expected Theo to be their most stubborn baby yet – he wasn’t quite, for the record!). However, it was so comforting knowing that we were there for him (and Ashlyn was there for us!) every step of the way, and encouraging to see how quickly he made progress. By the second night, he slept through the night (9.5 hours straight) for the first time in his life. IN HIS OWN CRIB. Within a week, he was consistently falling asleep at night with minimal crying and sleeping 11-12 straight. We didn’t think it was possible.
While we continue to work on perfecting naps (oh those dreaded 45 minute naps….), they have also come very far in a few short weeks.
Thank you Ashlyn and Pam for giving us a much more rested (and happier) baby and for giving us our evenings together back!
Erica & Daniel